Leeds United fans were hit with the news that Pablo Hernandez is out for two weeks in Marcelo Bielsa’s press conference on Friday.
That’s a body-blow after the playmaker missed the 4-3 win against Fulham last weekend.
His absence against Man City next week will leave the side depleted with loanee Jack Harrison unable to play against his parent club.
But there was another huge fitness blow to come.
Bielsa confirmed that Adam Forshaw had suffered a setback in training and would not feature in the first team until at least November.
Forshaw had initially targetted an August return after missing the majority of last season with a hip complaint that eventually required surgery.
The hope was that he would be back for the start of the season. However, that’s been and gone and this represents confirmation that Forshaw won’t be back for some time yet.
Bielsa said that he couldn’t rush Forshaw back and that he would need four or five Under-23s games before he could be selected for the first team.
Ominously, he said the recovery “won’t be a short process.”
Bielsa said he envisaged Forshaw needing four or five U23s game before he would be back up to speed. Believes Forshaw’s recovery “won’t be a short process”.
— Phil Hay (@PhilHay_) September 25, 2020
No Forshaw until 2021?
Given what Bielsa said and looking at the Under-23s fixtures, there’s no way Forshaw will be fit for Monday’s game against Sunderland at the Academy of Light.
The next five Under-23s games are Middlesbrough (Oct 2), Reading (Oct 16), Norwich (Oct 26), Crystal Palace (Nov 2) and Newcastle (Nov 6).
That could see a possible first-team return for Forshaw in the Palace (Nov 7) or Arsenal games (Nov 21).
However, given what’s happened to Forshaw and an issue that seemingly won’t come good, it wouldn’t be surprising if we didn’t see Forshaw until 2021.
That would see him missing almost 16 months of action.
It’s terrible for Forshaw as back when he last played he was showing some of his best form for the club.
MOT Leeds News columnist Paul Robinson said hip injuries like the one Forshaw picked up were “life-changing” and that they were much more complicated to sort than other football-related issues.
We’re gutted for Forshaw and hope that he can get back to playing as soon as possible. We think he would have been a big asset for Leeds in the Premier League.
In other Leeds United news, ‘Gulp’, ‘This might just be happening’ – Many Leeds fans excited by Di Marzio transfer update